Sunday, January 15, 2012

Final Results and Stumbling Blocks of GAPS Diet for Mom and Daughter

My family started the GAPS Diet about 17 months ago to address a variety of health concerns.  My daughter and I are now transitioning off the GAPS Diet, but my husband needs to stay on it for a while longer.

Final results of the GAPS diet
Great changes 
  • Goodbye joint pain - I started the GAPS diet primarily to address joint pain problems.  My left shoulder was hurting for nearly a year, making it hard to pick up the baby or even push the kids on the swings.  The GAPS diet has totally cured my joint pain, and I am so happy to be able to go about my life without chronic pain.
  • Improved immune system - My daughter's immune system has improved dramatically while on GAPS.  Previously, she would catch every cold and flu and would be miserably sick with a high fever for 3-4 days even with a cold.  Now, she gets sick less often and, when she does get sick, her symptoms are much less severe. 
  • Better sleep - My daughter was 3 and 1/2 years old when we started the GAPS diet.  For several months prior, she was phasing out her regular afternoon nap, and would only nap perhaps one or two days a week.  After just a few weeks on GAPS, I noticed that she seemed to be napping much more regularly. This pattern has persisted, as even now she rarely misses an afternoon nap (and she is almost 5 years old).  Additionally, before GAPS my daughter used to wake up whimpering or crying most nights, and sometimes several times a night.  She started sleeping much more soundly once we started GAPS, and she rarely makes a peep at night.
  • Less canker sores - The frequency of my canker sores has greatly diminished during the GAPS diet.  Additionally, the sores I do get are not as severe as they once were.
  • My sweating problem - Early on in my adult life, I noticed that I sweat way more than most people.  I was never overly concerned about my sweating while I was still using the typical antiperspirants, but once I started using "natural" alternatives I basically had to give up wearing cotton shirts as I was embarrassed to have large sweat rings under my arms. It never occurred to me that my sweating problem was something that could be cured; I figured it was just part of me.  But I have been absolutely amazed to see that the GAPS diet has remedied the problem! 
  • Clearer skin - Although I've never had much of a problem with acne, I've noticed that on the GAPS diet, I seem to have absolutely NO pimples on my face whatsoever.
  • Improved growth - My daughter has always been very small for her age, beginning with a placenta problem I had while pregnant with her.  Her weight and height gains have greatly improved while on GAPS.
Stumbling Blocks and Remaining Issues
  • Poor energy - My biggest stumbling block on the GAPS diet has been maintaining good energy levels.  I felt absolutely wonderful the first few months, but then started having spells of extreme lethargy and fatigue.  This seems to be related to how many carbs I consume, and I've had to try very hard to make sure to eat more carbs while on GAPS. 
  • Return of adrenal fatigue - I had adrenal fatigue when I started GAPS and was happy to note that it improved greatly in the first few months.  However, in the last few months my adrenal fatigue symptoms have made a comeback.  I think this is also related to consuming too few carbs.
  • Heartburn - I have struggled with heartburn for years.  I had hoped that GAPS would resolve this, but I am still having heartburn fairly frequently.  It does seem to be getting better over time, at least. Fermented foods and apple cider vinegar definitely help, although they are a temporary solution rather than a real cure. I plan to try bitters once I stop nursing my youngest.
  • Probiotic woes - During our time on GAPS, I learned that taking probiotic capsules causes chronic constipation for both my daughter and myself, no matter how slowly we increase the dosage.  (This has not been the case for my husband.)  It works better for me and my daughter to consume more fermented foods rather than taking probiotic caps.  
Was it worth it?
The GAPS diet is very restrictive, and especially challenging in social situations.  But, being on the GAPS diet gave me the opportunity to expand my cooking repertoire to include delicious, grain-free foods and has been a great way to learn how to incorporate more vegetables into our diets.  It has also been a great experience for learning to listen to my body and pay more attention to the cues and signals it gives me.  Overall, the GAPS diet has been well worth the time and effort!

Have you tried a healing diet such as GAPS?  What were the results?

February 2012 UPDATE: we are about 95% back on GAPS for now after seeing a negative impact on my daughter's behavior and a recurrence of some minor joint pain for me. 

This post is part of Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Fat Tuesday and Monday Mania!

54 comments:

The Voogts said...

Too funny how we're doing this at the same time. Like you, I'm sooo glad I did GAPS. I learned so much about my body and nourishing foods. But I just think it's time to go a different route now. Interesting info about the probiotic and constipation. Maybe I'll have to try cutting down on mine and see what happens. I use biokult. Sometimes it doesn't make sense that what is supposed to be so good for you just doesn't work for everyone. You have to listen to your own body. Yesterday I enjoyed some potatoes :) And I have eaten a little bit of fermented wheat bread. It has been nice to lose some of the anxiety about food too...the "I can't eat that!" mentality. I can relax and enjoy whole foods. I'm still figuring things out, but I'm getting there. And GAPS definitely helped.

Alchemille said...

Heartburn is a sign that the stomach doesn't have enough bile. And which organ produces bile? The liver! It is possible that you may have a "tired" liver than needs a little boost with liver loving herbs (dandelion my good old friend ~ the leaves to stimulate the liver, the roots to detox...Note that dandelion is a hypoglycemic though) and veggies in order to produce more bile. Of course fermented foods and ACV help a lot!

.ambre. said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences! I am curious about your constipation on probiotics though as the Naturopath we see recommends them to reduce constipation! I did notice it sounded as though you were trying to ease onto the capsules. I hated die off and just wanted it to be over with so I took a mega dope that threw me into full body shakes for a few hours, but since then I can take any dose I feel like! Haha! Glutton for punishment, I guess. :)

Kim said...

Sarah, It sounds like you've done a really nice job of trying a program and paying attention to your body. Good for you.

I did GAPS for 18 months. After an initial boost, I found myself still struggling: my fatigue never really eased up, my constipation and low body temps never resolved, the weight I lost in the beginning all came back, and toward the end my teeth and gums hurt all the time. To my great surprise, my teeth became really happy when I went back on small amounts of white rice twice each day. Happily, I've recently got constipation and low body temps turned around. Now I'm still on the quest for more energy.

I look forward to reading more about how your healing adventure unfolds. Good luck to you!

Lauren said...

This is a great list to put out there - it's really helpful to see how people end the diet, since most information is about how to start it.

I've been wondering lately if - while we CAN live low carb - it isn't a stress on the body to keep carbs low year-round. The links between adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism and VLC diets tipped me off. Let us know how you go.

Lately I've been adding white rice, occasional potatoes and some sweet potatoes back into a paleo diet because I also struggle to eat enough otherwise. I'm planning to transition to GAPS after our upcoming weekend away. Let's see.

Sarah Smith said...

Yes, funny that we're doing the same things at the same time! I was using Bio-Kult, too. Dr NCM says constipation is caused by improper gut bacteria, and that may well be the case. But it seems like whatever bacteria myself and my daughter have, it doesn't work well with taking Bio-Kult for whatever reason. It seems to me that there are so many different strains of gut bacteria, and it is definitely possible that some other brand would work for us. But for now, we're focusing on fermented foods and lots of kefir.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks Alchemille. Yes, I have had a feeling that my liver needs some help for quite some time because of the heartburn. The hard part has been finding something I can do on a regular basis to support the liver. All of the bitters I've seen have angelica, which is not recommended while pregnant or nursing. I've tried turmeric, and the taste really put me off. I haven't tried much dandelion, yet, except I've had the greens cooked a few times. Have you ever tried making a tea from it, and is it good? How else do you like to consume it?

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Ambre,
Yes, Bio-Kult gives both me and my daughter constipation. More so for my daughter, but once I figured out that was causing her to have such traumatic experiences in the bathroom (lots of crying and even a bit of blood, the poor little thing), I stopped taking it and found that my bowels function much better without it. My guess is that is depends on what gut flora is native to your system, and that some probiotics would work well while others won't. We're focusing on fermented foods and kefir for now.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I, too, and still on the quest for more energy. I'm trying some of Matt Stone's RRARF ideas right now, which are supposed to really help the adrenals and specifically raise the body temperature through raising the overall metabolism. I'll blog about my experiences to let you know how this goes.

Sarah Smith said...

I keep reading about people eating white rice with success, and have been surprised as I always ate brown rice pre-GAPS. I've been trying white rice, but the flavor is so bland that I'm not really a fan. I'm planning to try brown again and see if I notice anything different digestion-wise.

Sarah Smith said...

I totally agree about low-carb. Yes, we CAN live that way, but in the long run is it really a good idea? People get so enamored with it at first because we feel so great initially on low-carb diets, but then other problems start cropping up. I wonder if women, especially, just need more carbs on a day-to-day basis. Anyhow, you might find this article interesting:
http://180degreehealth.com/2010/06/the-catecholamine-honeymoon

The Voogts said...

I'll have to experiment. I eat sauerkraut daily and eat raw sour cream. I'm starting to introduce yogurt, then kefir. Maybe with all of those I won't need the probiotic. Although the last batch of biokult that I ordered seemed different. Different package and had different strains and dosages listed. Maybe they changed the formula?

Danielle said...

This is so fascinating! It seems like I've been hearing so much lately, mostly from women, about low carb diets sapping their energy.

I wonder if you might like the flavor of fried rice better than just white rice? It's a little more interesting, anyway!

It's cool to hear your perspective at the end of GAPs - it seems like so many people blog about how they are starting GAPs, and I always wonder what their end results will be!

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks Danielle. Fried rice tastes good, and I also made some warm rice breakfast cereal that was good. I still can't help thinking that there is no point to the white rice since most of the nutrients are removed with the hull. It seems like I'd be better off eating something else like potatoes...

Laura said...

Wow, your GAPS journey is coming to an end! I am glad you were able to heal your joint pains. That must have been miserable! I am looking forward to hearing how your journey continues :)

Hannah @Gapalicious said...

I'm so excited for you Sarah, I know that I'm looking forward to bringing in a few foods in July (or around there) when I can start branching out. Personally I think that when we get into the this will fix everything mode we miss something. My Mom has always told me that the secret to life is balance.

I know that one reason I needed to go on GAPS was because I was so out of balance on the side of carbs and sugars that my body needed a severe reset. Hopefully later this year I can add some healthy carbs back in and eat a nourishing diet for the rest of my life.

I found your problems with BioKult very interesting because I didn't wanted to admit that sauerkraut was causing me problems. I've always had trouble with cabbage, and now that I've stopped eating it I feel so much better.

I think the important thing is to listen to our bodies.

Again congratulations on your success - I hope everything else clears up for you!

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks Hannah! Yes, indeed, listening to our bodies is very important, even when our bodies are telling us things that we *think* should not be!

Meghan @ Whole Natural Life said...

Congratulations on your GAPS successes! I've been on for 16 months now and am planning on continuing until at least the 2 year mark. I've seen a lot of successes (namely clearing up digestive problems and greatly improving terrible acne) but I'm still looking for more improvement.
As for the heartburn, at the risk of making a completely obvious suggestion, have you tried HCL? That has been helpful for me. I have also read that fixing a zinc deficiency was necessary for healing heartburn for at least one family.
I had never heard of the liver being connected with heartburn. Maybe that's a missing piece for me. I am sure that my liver is overloaded. I was actually just reading about dandelion root this morning, since it helps with liver function. You can use dried root to make an herbal infusion. Unfortunately I don't think it's supposed to taste particularly good.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks Meghan,
I did have some success using HCL. I used a whole bottle, and then when I ordered a second bottle of a different brand, I was surprised to see that it says not to take it if you are pregnant or nursing (the first bottle didn't say anything of the sort). After a little more research on HCL and breastfeeding, I decided it was not something I wanted to risk while I'm still nursing.

Hmmm, I'm very curious about dandelion. Hopefully it tastes better than turmeric (which was downright nasty to me).

Megan said...

Can you believe it's been 17 months? I remember when I started following you about a year ago and it obviously didn't seem like you'd been on it that long. Thank you for sharing what you've learned along the way; no doubt you've helped so many people! (And I've referred many a person to your blog for the great recipes and tips on how to go grain-free.)

Jill@RealFoodForager.com said...

Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
http://realfoodforager.com/fat-tuesday-january-17-2012/

Share your great fermented food recipes at my Probiotic Food Linky – open through Februray 6, 2012.
http://realfoodforager.com/probiotic-food-challenge-linky/

Kim said...

Sarah, I used the very tasty recipe in Sally Fallon Morell's Eat Fat, Lose Fat -- cook the white rice in butter and cardamom for a few minutes before adding to chicken stock, coconut milk and saffron. Very tasty. Ramiel Nagel mentioned some research about white rice being more digestible than brown rice -- that's why I had the preference for white.

I transferred pretty directly from GAPS into RRARF. It was heaven to eat potatoes again and everything to appetite. After 18 months of No's, suddenly everything was a big Yes. That was great and my body temps came up, too.

My most recent exploration is identifying food and other allergies via The Pulse Test. It's making a big difference to figure out what things are stressors to me -- even if the offending items are generally considered to be "healthy."

I look forward to reading about your RRARF adventure. Enjoy!

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Kim. I'll have to look into the Pulse Test.

How interesting that you also went straight from GAPS to RRARF. It is definitely different focusing on starches instead of avoiding them. I'm interested to see when my temps will start to go up.

Sarah Smith said...

Yes, it does seem like just yesterday that I was starting GAPS! My husband is still GAPS, so I'll still be coming up with grain-free foods for awhile.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole premise was that you are on the diet as long as it takes for your gut to heal and seal, that time is different for everyone. It is not meant to be a life-long change... and it need not be a years long endeavor if you heal more quickly...

Sarah Smith said...

You are absolutely correct that the diet is not meant to be a forever diet. In my case, I could tell I was not ready to come off the diet yet because I would start getting joint pain again whenever I tried adding back non-GAPS foods into my diet. I started periodically trying to add back non-GAPS foods after about 6 months on the diet, and it wasn't until around December 2011 that such an experiment did not lead to joint pain.

Sarah Smith said...

You are absolutely correct that GAPS is a temporary healing diet. In my case, I was not ready to come off the diet earlier. Starting around 6 months on the GAPS diet, I started trying to add non-GAPS food back in. Every time I tried this, my joint pain would start to return. It was not until December 2011 that such an experiment worked for me with no return of the joint pain. So I needed to be on the diet for about 17 months. I know some people, kids especially, are done in just a few months, and some people need up to three years. My husband is not yet ready to transition off the diet because he still gets a recurrence of the symptoms that brought him to GAPS in the first place.

Lori said...

Hi Sarah, hope it's okay if i comment on here with a few questions concerning the GAPS diet. I've been doing a lot of research and am interested in it for my 5 yr old daughter who has bad eczema and is underweight. You are the fist person i've found that i can "talk" to who actually has experience with this diet! I want to start soon..but, how does one start? What are the basics i need on hand? How much prep did you do ahead of time? I'm afraid to just jump into it because I don't want to start and be so overwhelmed that I'll just give up. Also, is it possibe to do this diet on a strict budget? I'm not able to spend much on groceries. How necessary is it that the meat we eat on this diet is organic and grass-fed? And how did you deal with social situtions? Or people who just didn't understand what you were doing and why? This is probably going to sound ridiculous but one of my big hiderances is how people, namely my husbands family, are going to respond to this. They take a much more medical approach to things.. such as just take her to the doctor and do whatever he says!!! My MIL lives right beside us and is very involved in my childrens lives. And she is not afraid to give her opinion.;)
i could think of 20 more questions but I'll keep it to these few. I'm SO happy to have found this blog and see that it IS possible. Perhaps you've already answered these questions in previous blog posts, i haven't read near everything yet. And i will continue to research.. Thank you so much!!!! Lori

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Lori,
My daughter is also underweight, and GAPS helped her gain well. Her appetite increased dramatically when we started GAPS. I would recommend that you start off with the Full GAPS diet (and don't try the intro until later, if at all, once you are comfortable with Full GAPS). Even the Full GAPS can be overwhelming, and intro is even way more difficult.

Cooking GAPS can actually be fairly simple if you just base your meals on veggies and meat. Broth should be made often and consumed liberally. I did not do any prep ahead for staring the diet. Instead, we just transitioned a bit at a time over several weeks, and then finally took the plunge by cleaning out the cupboards and giving away all of our grain-based foods. We relied pretty heavily on nut-based foods initially, especially apple snap granola and peanut butter coconut bars. These helped in making the transition. Then over time, we reduced our nut consumption (which really helped with the cost).

This is a post on reducing costs on grain-free diets:
http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2011/07/cutting-food-costs-on-grain-free-diet.html

This post has a list of online GAPS resources:
http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2011/06/online-gaps-resources.html

The meat should be organic if you can, but if not, just do the best you can. Social situations were definitely a big deal. I packed lunches and dinners for us whenever we went to birthday parties and other social occasions. That seemed easier than trying to explain our diet or try to get others to make the right foods for us. My mom was a bit stressed because she makes dinner every Sunday and usually includes potatoes or grains. We figured out that we were always satisfied with whatever meat she made plus a salad or other veggie, so then it wasn't such a big deal. And I also try to make sure to offer to bring our own foods whenever necessary (like for Thanksgiving, where most of the side dishes were not legal for us, I brought my own sides dishes to add to the table).

In the long run, it is stressful to get started, but then it smooths out. After a couple months, you'll think it's easy (hopefully!). We made sure to be very strict the first 6 months or so, but then we were able to relax a little and eat a few more things, like sausages or BBQ sauce at a party without worrying too much. Oh, one other tip is to eat before you go if possible.

If your family is open to it, perhaps they would be willing to read an article or two about how GAPS has worked for people? I can tell you that it helped my family with the weight problems and eczema (although it has not cleared up 100% for my husband yet, but it is nearly there).

I hope this helps!

ahmo said...

Hi Sarah. I came to your site via googling GAPS nuts. What a wonderful place you've created. I discovered GAPS a week ago, have initially gone non-gluten, and beginning the whole protocol. Even this has improved my levels of irritability, secondary to ME/CFS. I'm very glad to have encountered this discussion about carbs, as it's one I'm already asking. Your linked reference is excellent. I'm ready to make your pumpkin spice cake, though I've not baked at all for 2 years. And your body butters are wonderful. Congrats for the great results in to you and dtr. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Traditional Medicinals has a Dandelion Root tea. It has a warm, nutty flavor. My husband thinks it tastes like pancakes and syrup. =P It is pretty yummy. I encourage you to give it a try. =)

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks Ahmo! Good luck on your GAPS journey.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks, I'll look for it!

Lori said...

I meant to reply long before this but life has been kinda crazy around here! Thank you so much for taking the time to anwer my questions. Your advice is so helpful! I like how you suggested to transition over a few wks instead of suddenly one day taking the plunge. I plan to make broth from turkey today, and i ordered coconut flour and oil to do some GAPS legal baking. That way we have that to turn to for snack time instead of crackers, chips, cookies, etc. I am so ready to see some posistive changes in my daughters health.. she is underwieght, has eczema, dark puffy bags under her eyes, very dry lips/skin, constant sinus infections, complains of headaches, is contstantly tired and cries easily. No to figure out how to get her to eat eggs and veggies..she hates both. But.. where there's a will there's a way. :) Thanks again, Sarah!!

Sarah Smith said...

One other thing: you can make double batches of GAPS soups, broth, and muffins. Eat half and freeze the other half, that way you'll have plenty around when you start GAPS full-time. You may find that your daughter's tastebuds will change on GAPS, especially after you do intro later on. Hopefully that will help. Raw egg yolks (definitely from a trusted source) can be put into each bowl of soup for your daughter. You just stir it in and she'll never know it is there. That also makes the broth taste just wonderful. Good luck, and let me know if you have any more questions!

Nicole said...

Hi Sarah,
My son has been on GAPS for almost a year now and we've seen many great results: weight gain, wonderful complexion, and normalized digestion. He was on Intro for a few months and Full GAPS for the rest of the time. I am noticing now that he is tired more often and some of his mood/behavioral(for lack of a better word) stuff is more intense lately too. I've been feeling lately that it's time to do something new, but we haven't completely decided on that yet. Anyway, I did come across The Perfect Health Diet. Have you seen it? I'm intrigued by the authors idea that even those with dysbiosis should have what he calls "safe starches." After I read the book, we may experiment with some of the suggestions. Also, I noticed you posted about the RRARF program. Do you know Matt Stone's stance on GAPS? I know he is not a low carb fan (although GAPS isn't technically low carb). It seems the health research can be endless and crazymaking. Good luck on your transition out of GAPS.

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Nicole,
Yes, I have heard of the Perfect Health Diet. I think it is an interesting concept, and I plan to read that book soon (it's on my list of books to get from the library). I don't know what Matt Stone's take on GAPS is. I would guess he thinks it is overly restrictive, but I would also guess that RRARF could be done while on GAPS and would still probably work (only a guess, though). If I had to do it all over again, I'd definitely try RRARF before GAPS, and then move on to GAPS if still necessary. RRARF is just so much easier and a much shorter time commitment. Of course, maybe RRARF won't even address the same issues.

Nicolina and Mike said...

Hi Sarah,
I am curious if you would be willing to share your initial reasons for going on the GAPS diet. I am especially curious if you had prior allergies, and how those have changed in your time. I have been doing research, and I am going to embark soon on my own GAPS journey. One of the physical reasons I will be going on it is my increasing food allergies, due to a leaky gut caused by many factors. I have avoided gluten for four years (and eat yeast and sugar minimally), and I wish I found out about the GAPS diet when I started then. I believe that through GAPS I can cure all of my food allergies, joint pain, weak immune system, and I hope to improve my thyroid and balance my mental health. I am going to join together Body Ecology Diet and GAPS for the first 4-5 months to help get over a candida overgrowth I feel like I have had since I was a child. Wish me luck! Any feedback or guidance would be AMAZING :)

Thank you so much for continuing to share all of this information,
Nicole

DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit said...

This is an interesting blog about Gap diet which is primarily use to address the joint pain problem.

Mindy, The Homespun Artisan said...

I have been on GAPS for a month now. Am transitioning off of the Intro. I have struggled greatly with adrenal problems for over a decade, so I am really hoping to see improvement soon with GAPS. But it seems carbs are quite essential for us adrenal patients! I am worried now after reading through these comments that GAPS will not help my adrenals. This mortifies me. I mean, I know there are MANY factors, and really, my GI tract is only ONE cause of my adrenal problems. But still! I am so done with this mess. Never heard of RRARF, so I'll go look into it to see if I can incorporate any of it into my GAPS journey. Adrenal issues are so dang hard to clear up, it would seem. Anyone out there had lasting success with the adrenals via GAPS? Or any other means worth mentioning? All tips welcome!

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Mindy,
If I had to do it all again, I would absolutely try combining RRARF with GAPS, and especially focus on making sure to eat plenty of carbs. I inadvertently ended up eating low carb on GAPS for a long time before I finally figured out that was making my adrenal problems worse instead of better.

Mariza said...

I just found you and what a wonderful blog you have! I'm starting on the gaps diet because of joint pain. Mine is on my hands and I've had it for a year. My goal this week is to learn how to make kefir and whey. My challenge is that I live in an RV and my fridge is so small. I read that a lot of people freeze food. I don't know how I'm going to manage with this small freezer I have. Anything is possible, right? I will make it happen!
Thanks for sharing so much information on your blog! This is great!

Sarah Smith said...

Welcome, Mariza! Sounds like you have reasonable goals. Milk kefir is VERY easy to make with kefir grains (I've never tried the powder type). It may work well for you to just keep a slow-cooker of soup going at all times in the beginning, so you can just eat straight from the pot and not have to worry about storing it. With less storage space, one of the main problems may be budget. We saved money on GAPS by buying items in bulk, and it sounds like you may not have that option. Anyhow, I'm sure you can make it work. Let me know if you have any questions!

Mariza said...

Thank you for that suggestion. I currently have crock pots going for the broth and I will do the same with the soup. For some reason I thought about the broth, but not about the soup when using the crock pots. I was stressing out about the broths for the whole family (I'm putting my whole family on the GAPS, too.)
I have a question about your joint pain, Do you happen to remember how long did it take for you to feel an improvement after being on the GAPS diet?
Thanks again!

Sarah Smith said...

Once I went to strict GAPS, my joint pain cleared up quickly. I'm thinking within 6 weeks or so. But, it would not go away until I went strict GAPS, and any cheats would result in a recurrence of joint pain.

Mariza said...

How great! I'm so happy for you! I hope the same happens to me! A few weeks sound great!

When you say "strict GAPS" do you mean the intro or the full GAPS? I'm just wondering once I do the Intro, should I stay on the intro until the pain goes away? or should I continue and move into the full gaps diet even if the pain is still there. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Sarah Smith said...

I mean the Full GAPS Diet. I did not do intro right away, but waited until I did Full GAPS for a few months first. I would recommend you to do the same, as intro can be especially challenging. It also helps to keep the die-off symptoms down to do Full GAPS for awhile before doing the intro diet. Good luck, and let me know if you have any more questions!

Mariza said...

That's a good idea. I've been on the full gaps diet now for 3 weeks, my husband and daughters are in the transition. This coming week they'll be on it completely. I was thinking about starting the intro on May 16th. It might be too soon. Thanks again for helping me out with this!

Sarah Smith said...

Definitely take you time on starting intro. It can be very stressful, and you will be making a LOT of soup as the food on intro is so digestible that you will want to eat probably 5-6 full meals-worth a day (at least that was my experience, and even at that I was ravenous). I'll be writing a post about intro soon...

Mariza said...

Thanks!

Kate said...

I don't know if it's GAPS legal, but I really like Dandy Blend. It's a coffee-like beverage that I buy in an instant form. Quite tasty. I don't know if it's considered grain-free if it's brewed from grain also, but the package says it's gluten-free when the grains contain gluten. Sorry, maybe I just confused everyone more, but it might be worth a shot! :)

P.S. I really really like your blog. :) :)

Kate

Anonymous said...

The one thing missing from all of this is fiber - just read Fiber Menace and I think everyone on GAPS needs to read it. It tks about how fiber can cause all sorts of disease. The question I have is who here has added low-fiber veggies and rice (very low fiber) on GAPS and what was the result?

My main issue now after being on GAPS for 4-5 mths now (great weight loss, inflammation/pain gone, thyroid looking better, skin clearing up) is that now my liver issues are coming to the forefront. Anyone else suddenly experience red and itchy eyes after doing GAPS for awhile? Infelt the liver cleanse supplements wer putting things into a worse situation for my liver so stopped them. Die off initially was caused by too much kombucha (I was also grain free then) and yet I didn't seem to have any of the same symptoms (red eyes and horribly itchy) as I do now.

Chinese medicine may help - a practioner told me it is all related to liver wind whih is related to blood circulation...

Anne said...

Sarah, I wonder how you are now? More than a year since you last update here.

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Anne,
My family is now benefiting greatly from constitutional homeopathic care. Homeopathy works so much differently and better than dietary changes ever did (and in fact I am now becoming a homeopath because it truly is life-changing, amazing, I-can't-believe-all-it-can-do). Whereas with diet I was able to see temporary improvements in specific things, with homeopathy we are seeing long-lasting improvements in ALL areas of health.

As an example, here is what homeopathy has done for my son: My son's eczema (which was not improved by GAPS) has been healed through constitutional homeopathy. Homeopathy looks at things a bit differently; rather than looking at specific symptoms in isolation, the whole of a person is taken into account when selecting a remedy. This also means that the remedy can help with much more than just one symptom. For my son, along with healing his eczema, the homeopathic treatment has also cured his sleep problems (he used to wake up every hour during the night, and his sleep problems were only degenerating further over time, but now sleeps from around 9:30pm-6am without waking up at all). His homeopathic remedy has also helped with his behavior: he is much more affectionate (previously he did not want anyone to give him affection except for me, but now he actually likes giving hugs to people and will let them hug him as well), he does not have temper tantrums or meltdowns (previously he would have them at least once or twice a day, now they are more like once every couple weeks), and he is much more cooperative/less stubborn. It is really amazing what homeopathy can do.

In case you didn't see my last post on GAPS and the very mixed results my family had, here it is:
http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2013/05/was-gaps-diet-worth-it_5.html